–Alvi says while other countries avoid hosting refugees, Pakistan generously hosted 3.5m Afghan refugees for decades
ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi has said the nation has surmounted several challenges since its independence, taking the country to a brighter future.
He was addressing the main flag hoisting ceremony of Independence Day at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Friday. The president said that the country has reached the tipping point where improvements are being witnessed in various areas.
Highlighting the nation’s past achievements, he said that “we have overcome the menaces of terrorism and extremism”. He added that while other countries avoid hosting refugees, Pakistan generously hosted 3.5 million Afghan refugees for decades, and 2.7 million of them are still living in Pakistan.
Referring to the good news the nation received during the last two years, the president said that an effective campaign was launched against corruption, which reflected the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
He said that Pakistan has largely controlled the coronavirus pandemic as a result of its effective smart lockdown strategy. He said that unlike some other countries, Prime Minister Imran Khan did not resort to complete lockdown, realising that it will badly impact daily wagers.
He said that several countries wanted to replicate Pakistan’s policies vis a vis coronavirus pandemic. He paid tribute to the premier for his vision and lauded role of the religious scholars and the media, as well as the services of doctors and paramedics, for combating Covid-19.
The president said that under the Ehsaas Programme, cash assistance was distributed among 16.9 million needy people during the difficult days of Coronavirus. He said that health facilities proved more than sufficient during the pandemic. He added that education was also imparted to students at their homes during the pandemic.
President Alvi said that the government is also preparing a uniform curriculum, which will further strengthen national unity and upgrade education standard. He said that Pakistan’s economy has also shown positive signs despite Covid-19 negative impacts, and Moody’s has recognised it.
Expressing solidarity with Kashmiris who have been facing the worst human rights violations at the hands of Indian occupation forces particularly after August 5 last year, the president reaffirmed Pakistan’s support to the Kashmiris in their cause.
He said that Pakistan will not leave Kashmiris alone. He added that Kashmir issue has been debated at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for four times during the last one year, which is a big success of Pakistan’s foreign policy.
President Alvi said that Pakistan has also released its political map, reflecting true aspirations of its people as well as Kashmiris.
He said that the new map shows Pakistan’s principled stance on Kashmir issue.
On Afghan issue, the president said that the peace agreement between Afghanistan and the United States will lead to peace and stability in Afghanistan. He said that Pakistan is the second largest beneficiary of peace in Afghanistan.
The president said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is not merely a project between Pakistan and China, but it will contribute to promoting transit trade in Central Asia and also help in establishing peace.
Earlier, the president hoisted national flag at the ceremony. Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani, Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser, federal ministers, special assistants, parliamentarians, three services chiefs and other senior officials attended the ceremony.